Discuss: the Ferguson decision

A grand jury in St. Louis County has cleared Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown on August 9, apparently determining officer Wilson acted lawfully when he shot Brown.

I wanted to get your thoughts on this situation, so please discuss.

Edit: To start the discussion, I’ll post this piece outlining why St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch was the wrong man to present the case for charging Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson before a grand jury, citing McCulloch’s past support for police officers in another police misconduct case, as well a family history that includes many family members on the police force including his father, who was killed by a black man with a gun.


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74 thoughts on “Discuss: the Ferguson decision

  1. We will never know what happened at the door of Officer Wilson’s car. What troubles me is the shoot to kill decision against an unarmed teen. I do not envy the members of that grand jury. RIP M. B.

  2. We’ll get Michael Brown’s testimony tomorrow, oh, wait.

    From another diary:

    To contribute to the Ferguson Bail Support Fund; new: Winter Gear For #Ferguson; Help Us Help Us All! They are indeed in it for the long hall. This, in a city with no homeless shelter, no jobs, and in sub-freezing weather. Imagine the costs the cities are choosing to incur to protect One Killer Cop. LiveStreamers have asked for financial help; I;ll provide a link when I find it again.

    ‘Help Basem Nasri get him another (phone) here: https://fundly.com/keep-me-streaming#

    Here’s a list of SUPPLIES that will be spread out at Safe Sanctuaries following the Grand Jury Announcement http://bit.ly/jailsupportneeds … #ferguson

    Bassem also said:
    ‘If any1 wants to send anything to me can send to this PO box 27237 Saint Louis 63111 thanks again for everything I love u all #Ferguson’


  3. This case is tragic and it definitely needs to result in an overhaul of police training nationwide. The current militarization of police procedure regarding possible threats and the use of deadly force by cops, such as calling a human torso ” center mass ” and the latitude to shoot until ” the threat is neutralized ” (meaning the almost certain killing of the human being in question), absolutely has to change. Community policing is not combat and cannot be approached as such. Americans are being shot and killed at an alarming rate by police officers in this country, especially in communities of color. This is a national disgrace.

    1. In addition to the end of protect and serve community policing, on semi-public display was the snail’s pace mobilization, fusion center response and coordination, to rehearse for quelling continued civil discord as the 2015 Republican ship of state sends the rest of US sovereignty down the drain, approving the TPP with Obomby signing it immediately into law. Palestine are US.

      There was only one reason the GJ findings were made after dark. Harder to film the police response or pick out planted trouble makers.

  4. I generally support the police while recognizing that as humans they are not perfect nor should we expect them to be. I see no reason from this case to question the decision made by the grand jury. My hope is that the opportunists who are stoking racial flames, looting, destroying property etc… will be stopped and not be viewed as heros, on this site or elsewhere.

        1. Denis,

          Do you have any evidence to back up that claim?

          How many feet away from Officer Wilson’s SUV was Mike Brown when he died?

          1. John, you already know the answer to that question is NO and you will be asked where is your evidence. Dead end.

            Evidence is posted in three separate links above. McCulloch needed 108 days to perfect it, before stiking a match to the tinder they laid and releasing their version of events. One po-po has yet to be required to file his official police incident report at the time of the murder of Michael Brown. Oops, too late now. That should have happened about a 100 days ago.

          2. Yes, a grand jury convened for months, looked at ALL the evidence, and concluded that Officer Wilson should not be charged with any crime. The distance away from MB? I don’t know the exact distance but the available evidence suggests MB was returning for a second attack on the officer. Out of curiosity John, what do you think went down and if it was different from that described by the attorney general, how is it that you have gathered more accurate info than the officials on the scene?

            1. Denis, you wrote: “Yes, a grand jury convened for months,

              That’s your first problem. It’s my understanding that usually grand juries only look at a single incident for a day or two, max. They’re not the “trier of fact.” That’s for a court room trial, with a judge who decides what evidence is ADMISSIBLE. Per the Bill of Rights, the defendant has counsel. Grand juries will routinely work for long intervals, but it’s on large number of cases.

              Denis wrote: “looked at ALL the evidence,

              They saw the evidence that D.A. McCulloch wanted them to see. There have also been reports that McCulloch cross-examined some of the witnesses. That’s reserved for a trial, it’s my understanding that’s NOT supposed to happen in a grand jury.

              Denis wrote: “and concluded that Officer Wilson should not be charged with any crime.”

              Correct. Would like to know how the jurors voted on that. Was it unanimous?

              Grand Juries are subject to secrecy laws. It’s my understanding that McCullogh never gave them a draft indictment for Officer Wilson and that NEVER happens. Every case that’s presented to the GJ gets a draft indictment from the prosecutor.

              Based on what I’m reading about McCulloch, there never was a prosecutor attached to this grand jury. McCulloch acted as Officer Wilson’s defense attorney. Based on that it’s reasonable to ask if an actual grand jury was ever convened.

              Denis wrote: “The distance away from MB? I don’t know the exact distance but the available evidence suggests MB was returning for a second attack on the officer.”

              You don’t have any evidence of a first attack, but now you want to invent a second one?

              Denis wrote: “Out of curiosity John, what do you think went down and if it was different from that described by the attorney general, how is it that you have gathered more accurate info than the officials on the scene.”

              Everyone agrees that Mike Brown is dead. Everyone agrees that Officer Wilson fired 12 rounds. Everyone agrees that six hit Mike Brown. Everyone agrees that Mike Brown’s DNA is in Officer Wilson’s SUV, which means he hit him with at least one of the two first rounds. Everyone agrees that Mike Brown was unarmed. Everyone’s seen the photos of Officer Wilson which confirm that he was in no way injured by Mike Brown. Police put Mike Brown’s body more than 150 feet away from Officer Wilson’s SUV.

              Those 150 feet are a really big problem for D.A. McCulloch and his client, Officer Wilson.

              If you allow for Officer Wilson being in fear for his life against an unarmed man who is standing next to his vehicle, I guess you (I would not) could excuse the first two rounds. It’s at that point, however, that the next ten rounds look to me like 1st Degree murder. I don’t know Missouri law. I’m not sure how much time it would take to deliberate to get to 1st Degree murder, but I think after those first two rounds, Officer Wilson knew he had screwed up. I think to cover up his bad policing, he figured he was better off with Mike Brown dead. So he got out of his vehicle, stalked him and killed him.

              Officer Wilson’s second attack account sounds like a fairy tale. Even if you accept that a now badly wounded Mike Brown’s charging him (how many bullets are in Brown?) he’s got plenty of options for protecting his own safety, that don’t include pumping more shots into him. If as he testified, Brown’s head was down, he could have hit him with his night stick or his gun. He could have simply avoided the 300 lb Brown. He’s a police officer. He’s supposed to be trained.

              I’m not surprised you don’t want to talk about those 150 feet. McCulloch didn’t want to talk about it either.

      1. If you want to make the case for reparations in your own words I will read it and offer my reaction.

        1. Denis,

          You wrote: “If you want to make the case for reparations in your own words I will read it and offer my reaction. ”

          “Thou shall not steal.”

          They’re the TEN Commandments, not the TEN Suggestions.

  5. This is a facebook post from a friend, a mother of a young boy of color. She says it all, the fear, the reality, and the action for change in the future.

    “I live in an amazing country where I get to whisper in my baby’s ear that he too can be President. In that same country, I have to explain to my very perfect brown baby that many, including those whose job is to serve and protect him, will not see his beauty the way I do. They won’t see the perfect little boy who is scared of the dark or is excited to learn to add or subtract or who has artistic talent that rivals adults. They don’t and won’t see him as a whole person, which means he will have to be careful every time he walks out the front door. Which means I will drop to my knees and pray to a God I am not sure hears the prayers of Black moms who want their babies to come home safely. Which means I will yet again, like after Trayvon, be unable to sleep for weeks worried about how America will treat my baby when he is 16.

    “I am so tired of these posts. I am tired crying for boys and young men and grown men I have never met because when I see them I see my own little boy and because their stories are our stories. American stories.

    “This is a great country that sometimes gets it wrong. It just feels like that sometimes is too often.

    “It is amazing that we don’t have post traumatic stress disorder.

    “We have to vote Black people. We have to vote. It is the only equalizer. The only way we have a fighting chance at making meaningful change in this country. If you aren’t registered, please register. If you are registered, make sure you vote and register five of your friends. Please.”

    1. The “perfect brown baby” is at greater risk from other brown individuals than from the police who, with few regrettable exceptions, are there to improve his chances of reaching his 16th birthday. I understand that this is an emotional moment for many, including for me as I hate to see a city go up in flames, but it is in the best interest of a baby, perfectly brown or otherwise, to have a mother that accurately assess the risks facing her child. Regarding black people voting, yes, by all means do so. But most black areas vote reliably Democratic. If you don’t like the results, and I wouldn’t either, perhaps it is time to consider a wider range of political options.

    2. LaurieG,

      Thanks for sharing your friend’s story. Many sociopaths will argue that nothing that happened in Ferguson is the result of planned racial segregation and several hundred years of socioeconomic, institutional racism and will likely be complicit with spouting the ginned up “news” condemnation of an oppressed segment of the populace and lay the entire blame on these our very people, for their present conditions.

      1. Meanwhile actual sociopaths will destroy a city and a country if they could while they are excused and cheered for their destructive behavior.

        1. Thanks for bringing the NSA, the FBI, AG Holder, Barry Obombya, Gov Nixon, AG McCulloch Ferguson police, the MO KKK, into the discussion. Awfully white of you to be honest about the situation. Corral the protestors, then order them to leave, fire illegal chemical weapons into the crowd and pretend it was just smoke grenades for the MSM.

        2. I know, Denis. You support and vote for them all the time (if you even live in Wisconsin).

          1. Didn’t vote for President Obama. Didn’t select his attorney general. Didn’t vote for AG McCulloch, a Democrat. And its just a hunch, but I think I vote differently than the people looting and burning in Ferguson. Not sure how you are tying me to the mayhem in Ferguson and elsewhere.

  6. No John, I am referring to blacks or African Americans if you prefer. Sadly, young black boys and men are at far greater risk from other blacks than they are from the police. Yet somehow the value of the lives of these at risk children are elevated when they die at the hands of police. Be assured that we would never have heard of MIke Brown if he had been gunned down by a local gang banger. So the question we should consider is why the discrepancy in life value that is quite obviously based solely on who shot him. It is fairly clear from the news footage last night that looters and anarchists were enjoying themselves last night. Race baiters in the media and the media in general benefit with more viewers etc… Meanwhile the losers are local property owners, peaceful protesters and beyond a doubt, the everyday folks of Ferguson, many of whom are black.

      1. I don’t see how this is relevant but ya, I pretty much consider italians as “white”. Why? Are they black? Where are you going with this John?

        1. Denis, as long as you’re going to let Italians be “white,” what about Mexicans? Can they be white too?

            1. Denis, thanks for a window into what passes for humor at your chapter meetings of the Aryan Brotherhood.

              Now if YOU could just answer the question. Do YOU consider Mexicans to be white?

              And let’s add the Spanish (that’s people from Spain) to the equation. Do you consider them more or less white than Mexicans?

              1. John, I should let you know that I didn’t create our racial classification system, I just go along with it for convenience sake. Mexicans would typically be classified as Hispanic, again, unless they shoot a black person. Still haven’t let on where you are headed with this line of questioning. Hey, is the tomatoe a fruit? I have never been sure about that one. Thanks in advance.

                1. Denis, you claim to be fluent in what you call “our racial classification system.”

                  What about Jews? Do you consider them white?

                  1. It seems like a fruit, but tastes more like a vegetable. Weird. What do you think John? I am done with the whole who’s white and who’s not interrogation unless you get to your point, if you have one.

                    1. Denis,

                      I take this as a sign that the Aryan brotherhood reads your BB stuff and wouldn’t be very happy with you claiming Jews are white.

                      You started this with your claims about the blacks and the browns.

                      Tell all your white supremacist friends to start reading scripture.

                      Galatians 3:28

                      There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

    1. Denis,

      “Sadly, young white boys and men are at far greater risk from other white than they are from the police.”


      Denis, you wrote: “It is fairly clear from the news footage last night that looters and anarchists were enjoying themselves last night.”

      I think Luke O’Neil makes the conservative argument, one you reject.

      Luke O’Neil @lukeoneil47

      If the state murdering citizens isn’t worth rioting over then literally nothing is. That’s the one single thing riots were invented for.

      If D.A. McCulloch didn’t want to encourage violence, why did he wait until last night, 8:00, to release the verdict?

  7. John, with all due respect, you are simply peppering me with questions but ignoring mine. This is not how dialogue should work. My most pertinent question: What do you think went down the night in question and if it differs from the AG’s version of events, how have you accessed more credible information than the officials on the scene?

    1. Denis, if all law enforcement has to do is empty their weapon into someone, and then claim self-defense, why do we need law enforcement? Why not just liberally hand out C&C permits and let the courts manage the carnage?

      The vast majority of law enforcement want to do things the right way. Insulating Officer Wilson from the consequences of his actions only hurts the vast majority of law enforcement.

      Part of the larger problem is that law enforcement is increasingly under pressure to bring in revenue, to pay for their salaries and benefits.

      “Cops In Texas Seize Millions By ‘Policing for Profit”


      That’s wrong and it compromises law enforcement’s role in the community as peace officers.

    2. Agree!
      JC’s tactic is to go into blog filibuster mode. Not useful to this or any discussion.

      Regarding the actual topic, I agree with SC above. It is tragic and training and protocols are likely being looked at across the Land.
      As citizens we all have a responsibility in a free society to behave at all times. Police have an extremely tough job making real time decisions in the heat of the moment. The only way an officer can know an individual is not a threat is when the individual submits to Q&A in a non-threatening manner. If this does not occur Public Safety Officers are trained to assume danger is present until circumstances change. Why? Two reasons. First, so that they can go home to their families. Second, to protect public safety.

      1. I needed a good laugh IG,

        “…you are simply peppering me with questions but ignoring mine.”

        You obviously missed the connoisseur of fine whine in the previous thread. LOL!! think goose/gander except JC actually responded fully to the comment he chose to address.

        To your citizen responsibility, 108 days to perfect your story, act as defense counsel for Wilson and not have a prosecutor in the “courtroom,” to counter “testimony,” and then to deliberately chose the dark of night to release a finding is the farthest from being, “concerned,” about public safety for law enforcement that I could imagine, as went down in Ferguson last night.

        So NO to your sit back and take more oppression and rampant inequality of a segregated racially profiled group. The greater call of citizens in a democratic republic is to fight against rank and perpetual repression and clear injustice.

      2. ig,

        per Steve’s video, here’s another one. “Police chief defends officers’ action in fatal shooting” http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/21/us/st-louis-police-shooting/index.html

        Kajime Powell needed to be arrested. He had a history of mental illness and he had just shoplifted. But he’s obviously never a threat to either of the two police officers who executed him.

        Anyone, literally, can murder a mentally ill guy. When police officers are allowed to collect paychecks for doing it, we have very serious problems. Powell’s family dropped the case. As far as I know, neither of the two officers faced any discipline for what can only be described as slaughter.

  8. The decision was a foregone conclusion. AS noted in the opening to this topic, McCulloch and his family history with ties, past and present, to the police rendered him hopelessly biased.


    The real villain in this perversion of justice is Gov. Nixon who failed to appoint an independent prosecutor.


  9. IG,

    First of all, they don’t call themselves public safety officers, they call themselves law enforcement officers, which is markedly different from peace officers, which is a term I grew up with. Secondly, it’s pretty clear across the land that these guys have adopted a combat mentality along with combat terminology such as ” shooting at center mass ” and ” neutralizing the threat “. When did this change occur? When did American police officers begin to view human beings, fellow citizens, as center mass and a threat to be neutralized. When did it become okay for cops to empty their service revolvers into unarmed people? I still think of the killing of Kajieme Powell, a guy with a knife who started toward the cops and they fired 12 shots at him, at least two into him after he was already on the ground. And please don’t talk about adrenaline, heat of the moment, etc. You can’t tell me that police officers can’t be trained to more carefully assess who is dangerous or not, who can be contained with non-lethal methods, etc. It’s done all over the western world. When it comes to the developed world only in America do cops routinely pump multiple rounds into unarmed or lesser armed citizens. Something is radically, radically wrong here.

    1. SC,
      I “think” I agree with you, regarding training/protocols of Police or whatever we want to call them. FYI, I have a BIL in Petosky, MI, trained police officer, refers to himself and the department as Public Safety. They do firefighting also.
      I think where we may differ is that if for any reason a person identify’s him/herself as a “Cop” to me, If asked, I will rub my head and pat my belly until he/she is satisfied I am not a danger. The last thing I would do is react defiantly. For if I do, I assume the risks associated. Could be death. Easy enough to avoid.
      I am curious what protocol you would have in place. ??
      Should a Cop wait until a gun is shown, what if it is a fake?, what if it is real, what if it is used toward the Cop or anyone? How about a knife? a small knife, a big knife? What if the Cop dies attempting to figure out what the heck the situation is all about because the suspect did have a firearm?

  10. I’m tired of black activists saying “we are all Michael Brown”. NO we are NOT. Not all persons of color ROB and Physically Assault store clerks. NOT all persons of color Assault Police Officers. Why was Brown killed? WHY was he in the middle of the road? WHY did he rob a store then feel the need to assault a clerk AND a police OFFICER? Because he was a thug. A THUG. yes he was. NO we are not ALL “MICHAEL BROWN”. But go on believing that this behavior is normal and forgivable.

    1. chris,

      What do you make of this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYGCv_qbLIY

      Looks to me like Mike Brown in the store PAYING for those cigars.


      if you think stealing is wrong, why do you continue to support Obama, who refuses to indict even one Wall Street CEO?

      “Bank Of America Dumps $75 Trillion In Derivatives On U.S. Taxpayers With Federal Approval”


      To put $75 trillion in perspective, US GDP in 2012 was around $16.5 trillion. We blew a lot more than the $6 trillion they’re claiming in Iraq and Afghanistan. Social Security’s Trust Fund is around $2.3 trillion. Bank of America is just one Wall Street bank. They all have derivative exposure. I’ve seen estimates of $700 trillion, but I don’t think anyone knows.

  11. Extra-judicial death sentence when Wilson had no clue of the prior incident, a, “reported,” strong-arm. Middle of the road to get to the other side? Hmmm, po-po nearly hits the pedestrian with the cruiser, slam a vehicle door into the pedestrian, a death sentence worthy offense for sure, probably scratched the paint when grabbed by the officer. /s

    Nobody is saying normal and forgivable, what people are upset about is manipulation of the truth to fit the desired outcome.

  12. Chris,
    Thank you. I gather from your comments that you are black. You represent real hope in my opinion as you appear to be thinking on your own and not following the group think of an angry mob. I understand that all is not well in the black community at large and that the larger society, albeit mostly the liberals/progressives, have a fair degree of culpability, but whatever the lunatic fringe thinks they are accomplishing in Ferguson, it probably will not be very helpful to blacks in general or the residents of Ferguson in particular.

  13. Nonquixote: “Reported” There was video evidence of his strong armed robbery. The Eye witness testimony of the the clerk. The Cigarellos in his hand…. Yep that sounds like a setup.

    I wonder how his blood ended up INSIDE the officers vehicle… I suppose After he was stoped simply “Crossing The Street” and had the officer “SLAM” his car door into him, Mr. Brown was simply trying to shake his hand (on the officers weapon).

    THE ONLY manipulation of the TRUTH I am seeing is YOUR line of BULL-CRAP. It is unfortunate that MR. BROWN a GROWN MAN ADULT decided to rob a store and then attempted to harm the officer that stopped him down the road a ways. Clearly if he was at home or church or the grocery store or the library or college he would not have been in the middle of a city street holding stolen merchandise and menacing a responding officer to a potential crime. I guess the officer just rolled up and shot the first BLACK man he could find.

    Nonquixote, YOU SIR are the problem. UNTIL members of black leadership, until fathers and mothers of young black kids own up to the problems that OUR own youth are causing we will never move forward.

    How refreshing would it be to hear the mother and step father of Michael Brown getting up and saying that they recognize Michael was in the wrong regarding the Strong armed robbery and resisting the police officer but they wish some other alternative could have been utilized to subdue him… Alas that is an inconceivable wish.

    Instead they are attempting to make him a HERO… Martin Luther King JR. would not, NOT be impressed by Michael Brown. He would be sad. I am sad.

    Lets watch Fergusen BURN lets watch black youths and adults loot and burn and rob and steal. Then lets wait for the calls for MORE JOBS and opportunities in the very areas they destroyed. PATHETIC

    1. If the sockpuppet squad cares to quote me, kindly keep it in the context of how I actually used a particular pattern of words to form a statement. Wilson was not aware of the “reported,” incident AT THE TIME he stopped and attempted to frisk and intimidate Mike Brown. Blood, how many people handled the body from which organizations? Ignorance in two of its definitional forms is what is getting to be pathetic.

      For the sockpuppet squad’s convenience: https://www.wordnik.com/words/context

      Can we expect Robert soon?



    Michael Brown’s Stepfather’s statement following the announcement…

    I wonder where Michael Brown learned to act like a THUG…. Curious…. Hmmmm

  15. We act surprised that the connected and powerful are let off the hook, while those who don’t have those luxuries are guilty until proven innocent. We shouldn’t be surprised at this point.

    The question is, how do we change this? And if the answer is “You can’t,” or “those in power won’t,” then prepare to see a whole lot more burning. And not just in “their” neighborhoods.

    This is OUR problem. For every one of us.

  16. What is it that you want to change JfotLP? The methods by which we decide who to prosecute? The rights of police to defend themselves? What would be the just solution to the problem? Should the Black Panthers decide guilt or innocence? Should anonymous police the streets? Should Officer Wilson be jailed even though the evidence points clearly to his innocence? What is the change you are waiting for?

  17. The topic for discussion is the “The Ferguson Decision” which refers to a grand jury determining if the police officer involved in killing an unarmed teenager should be indicted or charged with one of four criminal acts. But a biased prosecutor instead corrupted the process changing it into a “trial” of the victim.

    It is my opinion that “Chris” et al are doing doing the same thing as McCulloch.

    In blog parlance, it is known as changing the subject.

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